Monday 10 December 2018

'All I got was lies and deceit, I was bullied and threatened'

Marie Collins

IF only they had stopped him then.

But I was surprised to find out how much was known about my abuser.

The auxiliary bishop at the time wanted him reported to gardai because he considered child sexual abuse one of the worst crimes a priest could commit. John Charles McQuaid overruled him.

I was staggered that the church hierarchy knew so much. And that here was an opportunity within a year or two of my abuse in 1960 to have reported him to the gardai.

We know that others were abused in the years afterwards and it is just appalling to me that a known abuser was allowed to continue.

I am horrified by the fact that the gardai knew about it at the time and did nothing.

In fact, the gardai took the case to Archbishop McQuaid instead of dealing with it themselves. They abdicated their responsibilities, handing it back to the Church to deal with it.

Why?

I am disgusted to think that someone else could have been spared abuse at the hands of my abuser.

That the gardai did nothing at the time about it; that the archbishop did nothing about it and when he (McQuaid) did nothing -- the gardai did not follow it up.

It was all brushed under the carpet and my abuser left free to go on abusing children in the future. I was so naive when I reported my abuse to the diocese in 1995. I thought at the time this concern about whether I should proceed with my complaint was kindness on their part -- that they were worried about me.

But as I began dealing with the gardai, with the support of my husband Ray and son Peter to whom I am eternally grateful, all I got was lies and deceit from the archdiocese.

Danger

I was bullied and threatened.

Their legalistic approach was devoid of humanity. Morality and justice didn't come into it.

All that simply because I wanted a man, who I knew was a danger to children, to be taken out of contact with them. I didn't care if he went to jail or got a long or a short sentence.

I could not believe that the men at the very top of the diocese were fighting me and looking on me as the enemy. I had to go public because, if children were to be safe, other people had to know what the reality was.

How could they sleep at night knowing they left so many abusers on the loose?

It was like putting a wolf into a chicken coop.

I would like the men at the top who did all of this covering up to actually come out and speak for themselves.

They committed, in my view, equally criminal acts by protecting the abusers.

They knew what these men were doing and, as the insurance policy shows, they knew what child abuse was.

There is no escape for them now.

Marie Collins was abused by a cleric identified as Fr Edmondus in the report.

Irish Independent

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